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1987 Chevy Truck - Blue Flame Bow Tie

Posted in Project Vehicles on June 1, 2007
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Photographers: Wendy Frazier

Proving that there is still room for innovation in fullsize rigs, Brett and Lisa Reed's '87 Chevy longbed combines American ingenuity with German engineering, forming a reliable and environmentally friendly wheeling machine. Working as a CNC machinist and looking to take his project to the next level, Brett began rebuilding the Bow Tied beast in late 2000 with Moab in mind. Though the vehicle is made for the rocks, Brett isn't afraid to cover the Indigo Blue for a nice muddy finish at the local mud bog.

The German-built military portals came straight from the factory with selectable lockers, a 3.54:1 differential ratio mated to a 2.13:1 gear-reduction hub for an overall axle ratio 7.56:1. Having a need for more power and looking to ditch the 6.2L diesel, Brett tossed in a 406ci small-block Chevy and converted to a more environmentally friendly method of consumption-propane. Edelbrock dual quads along with twin Impco propane mixers are used to help keep the Doug Thorley exhaust singing the good song. Our vote is still out on using hydraulic steering on the street, but a lot of thought was put into making the fully hydraulic steering predictable enough for the road and strong enough for the trails. A key ingredient in maintaining a "feel" for the road was an open center load-reactive valve that allows you to receive feedback to the steering wheel, also working as a "return to center." The idea behind the truck? Build a smart machine that could be universally adapted to any environment. It sure seems to work!

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Looking to gain a few more horses under the hood, Brett opted to replace the sluggish 6.2L diesel with a propane-breathing 406ci Chevy small-block. The results were dramatic in both power and responsiveness.

Engine: 406ci small-block Chevy, Comp roller cam with propane grind, Edelbrock Performer heads, Edelbrock dual quad intake, dual Impco 425 propane mixers
Transmission: 700R4
Transfer Case: ORD Doubler (Chevy 203/Ford 205) triple-sticked
Front Axle: Mercedes Unimog 404, overall ratio 7.56:1, factory locker, custom antiwrap bars, double-ended hydraulic ram
Rear Axle: Mercedes Unimog 404 steering axle, overall ratio 7.56:1, factory locker
Tires & Wheels: 42x15-16.5 Interco Super Swamper TSLs on 16.5x7.25 Hummer bead locks with custom wheel covers
Suspension: Front 4-inch Superlift springs, Pro Comp ES 3000s, rear stock 56-inch 1/2-ton Suburban springs, 4-inch shackle flip, custom traction bars

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